At our son's 6 month check-up, everything appeared to be ok. Although our son is on the small side (for his age), he continued to thrive.....that is until his next check-up. On March 25th, we learned that our son had not grown in a 4 month span of time. Not only had he not gained weight, but he had also stopped growing in length and his little head had stopped growing as well. My heart sank and I felt like I had done something wrong!
A month prior, I noticed that our son wasn't his normal, happy self. He seemed a little fussier than normal. I also made a note about how skinny he was. I didn't put too much stock into either as he is our third baby and his older sister was always on the petite side. While at a friend's house, who is also a mom, I mentioned that I was a little concerned. She merely suggested that I start giving him formula to "plump" him up....and to see if a fuller belly would ease his fussiness. So....I did just that. Our son slept better and was happier throughout the day (although he's generally a very happy baby). To me....he was seemingly better.
After learning that Izaak had not grown, his doctors placed him on a strict 24 calorie, formula diet. By adding extra calories to his diet, we had hoped to see a change in his weight. After a week, there was no change. So on April 3rd, we were asked to take our son to Children's Hospital.
Our first couple of nights at the hospital were quiet. By our third day, a team of doctors began looking our son over, trying to figure out why he wasn't growing. While "failure to thrive" is common, Izaak's case was not so common.....and not as easy to diagnose. For 7 days, Izaak underwent blood test, genetic testing, had an MRI to look at his pituitary gland, had bone scans, and was tested for Cystic Fibrosis. He also continued his formula diet and was fed every four hours around the clock. Neither of us had seen 2 am in a while....but we pushed through the challenge. After exhausting all lab work that could be done, we were finally sent home....and although we were happy to be going home....we still had no answers. Not knowing has a way of making your worry. Had we done all that we could? Is our son healthy? Where do we go from here?
Since being home, I've continued with his diet. And although I have been instructed to discontinue breastfeeding, I have made sure that Izaak is eating his fruits and vegetables. We have made some headway....as he has now gained 1-2 pounds and has grown about an inch!!! We still aren't 100% sure why he stopped growing, but we hope to learn why over the next couple of months with continued treatment and follow-up testing.